Top 10 Best Trolling Lures in 2023 Reviewed by Expert
Hey there, welcome to my review of the best trolling lures!
I love trolling. In a day, you can easily cover 10 miles and explore parts of the sea you’ve never seen before. Furthermore, it’s really beginner-friendly – as long as you have the right lures in your tackle box.
Trolling is a whole different ball game than regular fishing. The lures required are quite different, and so is the gear. I’ve been fishing for 20 years, and together with my team, we spent 17 hours putting together this list of the best trolling lures available.
Inside this list, you’ll find lake trout lures, bass trolling lures, and more. Whether you’re going saltwater fishing or want to fish offshore, you’ll have no lack of choice.
Ready to begin? Let’s jump right into it!
Our Top 10 Picks
- Acme Kastmaster Spoon (Best Overall)
- Rapala Original Floating Lure (Best Runner-Up)
- EatMyTackle Slant Head Saltwater (Best Skirted Lure)
- Spro White Bucktail Jig (Best Bucktail Jig)
- Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30 (Best Lifelikeness)
- Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk (Best Vibration)
- Yo-Zuri Bonita (Best Durability)
- Nomad Design DTX Minnow (Best For Deep Waters At High Speeds)
- Mann’s Stretch 40 (Best Durability For Deep Waters)
- Williamson Speed Pro Deep (Best Wild Card)
As mentioned above, trolling calls for different rods and reels than regular fishing.
My favourite rod for trolling is the St Croix Triumph Inshore 7 ft. I usually pair it with a Penn Squall II 3000, though I have found varying degrees of success too with other reels. Here are the best trolling reels if you’re interested in creating your own dream trolling rod and reel setup.
The 10 Best Trolling Lures
Before we begin, if you see a lure that you like but aren’t sure how to troll with it, fret not. After all the lure reviews, we’ll also cover how to troll all the different trolling lure types.
1. Acme Kastmaster Spoon
Let’s start with the most versatile lure in the world – the Acme Kastmaster.
There is perhaps no other fishing lure in the world that can ever compare to the Acme Kastmaster. No matter what fish you’re going after, this lure won’t let you down. In other words, you can catch fish of any species. I’ve used it for salmon trolling, walleye, perch, steelhead trolling, lake trout trolling, and even as a bass trolling lure.
Aside from trolling, you can also take this lure surf fishing, trout fishing, deep-sea angling, and so on. The point is, whatever your fishing style or target fish, the Acme Kastmaster will fit the bill. Its flash also makes it perfect for salmon trolling rigs. Of course, it can be outperformed by other lures, but there are none as versatile.
If you don’t want to rack your brain thinking about which lure to use for each fish, this is the lure you’ll want.
2. Rapala Original Floating Lure
I gotta admit, if we’re talking just trolling, I’d pick the Rapala Original Floater over the Acme Kastmaster.
For most anglers, the Rapala Original Floater is their go-to lure for trolling. The wounded minnow action it produces appeals to a wide variety of gamefish and is extremely enticing.
I also like that it can be fished at many different depths. You can fish it near the surface or 5 metres down and it’d still be just as effective.
For trolling, although the flash that the Acme Kastmaster gives off works, it’s not as high-converting as the action from this lure. Nevertheless, we still ranked the Acme Kastmaster first because the choice is obvious between a lure that does it all and a specialised trolling lure. However, if I needed a lure only for trolling, there’s no doubt I’d pick this Rapala trolling lure.
Best Skirted Lure
3. EatMyTackle Slant Head Saltwater
Next up, is the best skirted lure for trolling – the EatMyTackle Slant Head.
Skirted lures mimic fleeing bait fish as they pop out the water from time to time. This, combined with alluring colours, makes skirted lures hard to resist, particularly to big fish like lake trout.
With its irresistible injured bait fish action and its ability to withstand strong bites, the EatMyTackle Slant Head is the best skirted lure on the market.
Best Bucktail Jig
4. Spro White Bucktail Jig
On to the next lure, the Spro White Bucktail Jig is another lure I always bring on my trolling trips.
What makes the Spro White Bucktail Jig so special is that it doesn’t spin. Instead, it trolls straight and hangs out below the surface, popping up and down as you troll it. This simulates a retreating crayfish. So far, I’ve brought in plenty of bull dolphins, and tuna.
Safe to say, the Spro White Bucktail Jig is one of my favourite lures for trolling larger game fish.
5. Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30
This next lure is about lifelikeness.
First off, as a glance at the picture would tell you, this lure is unbelievably realistic. It really doesn’t get any more lifelike than this.
But lifelikeness isn’t just about how a lure looks. It’s also about how a lure moves. Many other companies have incredibly realistic-looking lures, but none have managed to recreate Rapala’s signature lure action.
As seasoned anglers would know, all Rapala lures are built to swim exactly like real fish do. The Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30 creates the illusion of a frenzied baitfish with its hard-cutting and aggressive action. This does a better job of attracting fish than even live bait.
In short, if you’re going after fishes that prefer panicked prey, this is the lure for you.
6. Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk
Loud and rhythmic, the Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk’s vibrations are second to none.
With a tuned internal rattle chamber, this lure produces the loudest vibrations out there. You can be sure anything in the vicinity won’t miss it.
What’s more, the vibrations are rhythmic to seem natural so that fish won’t suspect a thing. Sometimes, you need something noisy to get the fish biting. At times like those, you’ll be glad you got yourself a Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk.
7. Yo-Zuri Bonita
For those looking for the toughest trolling lure available, look no further.
This lure features flat forged stainless steel hooks, stainless steel ball bearing swivels, and Yo-Zuri’s patented Powerbody.
Honestly, I’m not sure what flat forging does, or what Powerbody is. But I do know that stainless steel is tough, so the hooks and swivels are nothing to scoff at.
As for the Powerbody, I’ve hooked some pretty big striped tuna, and there aren’t any teeth marks at all. I’d say the Powerbody is no slack either.
All in all, the Yo-Zuri Bonita is the perfect lure for those who want something tough that can last them for years to come. Saltwater anglers will also love this lure’s toughness, and even those going after freshwater fish will appreciate the hardiness.
Best For Deep Waters At High Speeds
8. Nomad Design DTX Minnow
Designed to dive deep – really deep, this is the one of the best lures on the market for trolling deep at high speeds.
The Nomad Design DTX Minnow is a hardy lure that can reach depths of more than 40 feet when trolled at 6-8 knots. In fact, this lure can even be trolled at 12 knots and still swim straight.
Few lures can reach such depths at such high speeds. Even fewer can do all that while swimming straight and appealing to fishes. Anglers intending to troll deep at more than 6 knots should seriously consider getting one of these.
Best Durability For Deep Waters
9. Mann’s Stretch 40
The previous lure was born to troll deep at high speeds. The Mann’s Stretch 40 was crafted with slower speeds in mind.
This lure, like the DTX Minnow, can reach even deeper than 40 feet, but only at around 4 knots. Anything more, and you won’t have the depth that you need.
Don’t get me wrong though, I know 4 knots isn’t slow. It’s just slower than the DTX Minnow. That said, for the slower speeds, you’ll get heavy-duty plastic construction and super thick walls. These translate to a much more sturdy lure.
Between the DTX Minnow and this lure, the choice is between durability and speed. If you’re one to troll at higher speeds, you’ll need the DTX Minnow. Otherwise, you’ll be better off with this robust lure that can handle even the most vigorous saltwater fishing.
Best Wild Card
10. Williamson Speed Pro Deep
Finishing off strong is the Williamson Speed Pro Deep. This is an interesting lure because you really never know whether it’ll deliver on a certain day.
The Williamson Speed Pro Deep creates a highly visible bubble trail as it swims. I’ve found that on some days, this fills up my cooler in no time at all. On other days, the going is really slow.
It really boils down to whether the fishes are going for the bubbles or not. It’s always worth a shot though. On the days that you hit, you can go home in an hour with a full cooler of tuna, wahoos, and more.
How To Troll With The Different Lures
Alright, now you should have a lure in mind that you want to get. In case you’re not sure how to troll with that lure, that’s what this section will cover.
Starting with the Acme Kastmaster, most spoons don’t work well below 1.5 knots. Usually, the ideal trolling speed is 1.7-2.2 knots, although I have recently been trolling at 3 knots with great success.
Next, for the Rapala Original Floater, I’d suggest going with something between 0.7 and 1.5 knots. Most of the time, that’s the sweet spot. Sometimes though, it does go up to the 1.7-2.6 mark. And on rare occasions, nothing below 3.5 knots works, so start slow and then slowly increase your speed till you hit the mark.
For skirted lures like the EatMyTackle Slant Head, most days, I troll them at 5-8 knots. At that range, skirted lures will skip above the surface every few seconds. That should be what you’re seeing with your skirted lure. I’ve never had to go out of the 5-8 knots range, so that’s the range I’d advise you to troll at.
For bucktail jigs, the best range tends to be 2-4 knots. This range places the bucktail jig at or just underneath the surface. This creates lots of commotion as the lure moves through the water.
Finally, for the rest of the lures which are all deep diving lures, 4-9 knots is usually about right. You’ll notice the wider range because “deep” can mean anything from 20 feet to 40+ feet.
To sum it up, faster trolling speeds equal more aggressive actions, and vice versa, more subtle actions for slower speeds. Do adjust your speed according to how you want your lure’s action to be.
There’s really nothing quite like trolling. While waiting for a fish to take the bait, you can kick back and relax with the cool ocean breeze on your face, looking over the vast blue sea. Moreover, it’s so easy that even new anglers will find trolling quite manageable. And the best part is that with trolling, snagging trophy fish is as easy as it gets.
With so much fun to be had, the last thing you want is to go home empty-handed. We feel you, and that’s why we conveniently compiled the best lures for trolling for you to catch more fish, and never go home disappointed.
We hope these artificial lures catch you plenty of fish and that you have lots of fun trolling!
Content retrieved from: https://fishingsensei.com/gear/lures/type/best-trolling-lures/.